Big 12 regular-season champion Oklahoma State gave up a run to UC Irvine in the bottom of the first on Saturday. Little did the Cowboys know at the time that would be the only scoring in the game as the Anteaters, who knocked off No, 1 overall seed Oregon State to advance to the Super Regionals, held on for a 1-0 win, ending the Cowboys’ season and sending UC Irvine on to Omaha and the College World Series.
Cowboys’ starting pitcher Vince Wheeland shutdown the Anteaters after that, yielding no runs and six hits after the first. Brandon McCurry came on in relief and turned aside all five batters he faces. But the damage was already done.
As well as the two OSU pitchers performed in Game 2 of the Super Regional series on Oklahoma State’s home field, UC Irvine ace right-hander did even better. Andrew Morales, who has a season ERA of 1.53, held the Cowboys scoreless and gave up only six hits in going the distance for the win, his 11th of the season to go with two losses.
UC Irvine opened up the bottom half of the first inning with back-to-back singles from the second and third hitters. With two outs, designated-hitter Jonathan Munoz lined a double down the left field line scoring the lead runner, shortstop Chris Rabago with what turned out to be the decisive run.
Oklahoma State, which ends its season with a record of 48-18 record, their most wins since 1994, had several opportunities to score off of Morales but left seven runners stranded on the base paths.
The Cowboys did not get another hit after the sixth inning. Second baseman Tim Arakawa and catcher Bryan Case both had two hits to lead the anemic Oklahoma State offense. The Cowboys had hit .355 as a team the previous weekend in winning their regional, but UC Irvine pitching cooled off the OSU bats in the Super Regional series. The Cowboys hit just .184 against the Anteaters, going 12 for 65 at the plate in the two losses.
Oklahoma State had a record of 11-0 this season in one-run games before Saturday.
“Credit to UC Irvine. Andrew Morales pitched a tremendous game,” Oklahoma State coach Josh Holliday said after the game. “He’s an outstanding competitor and showed you why he’s the Pitcher of the Year in their conference.”